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Forkhead box P (FoxP) proteins are unique transcription factors that spatiotemporally regulate gene expression by tethering two chromosome loci together via functional domain-swapped dimers formed through their DNA-binding domains. Further, the differential kinetics on this dimerization mechanism underlie an intricate gene regulation network at physiological conditions. Nonetheless, poor understanding of the structural dynamics and steps of the association process impedes to link the functional domain swapping to human-associated diseases. Here, we have characterized the DNA-binding domain of human FoxP1 by integrating single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer and hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry data with molecular dynamics simulations. Our results confirm the formation of a previously postulated domain-swapped (DS) FoxP1 dimer in solution and reveal the presence of highly populated, heterogeneous, and locally disordered dimeric intermediates along the dimer dissociation pathway. The unique features of FoxP1 provide a glimpse of how intrinsically disordered regions can facilitate domain swapping oligomerization and other tightly regulated association mechanisms relevant in biological processes. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


Exequiel Medina, Pablo Villalobos, George L Hamilton, Elizabeth A Komives, Hugo Sanabria, César A Ramírez-Sarmiento, Jorge Babul. Intrinsically Disordered Regions of the DNA-Binding Domain of Human FoxP1 Facilitate Domain Swapping. Journal of molecular biology. 2020 Sep 04;432(19):5411-5429

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PMID: 32735805

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